Page last updated at 13:57 GMT, Sunday, 27 September 2009 14:57 UK

Police target rail cable thieves

British Transport Police recover stolen wire
Police will be visiting local scrap yards as part of the crackdown

Police have warned thieves in St Helens they are risking their lives by stealing rail cables.

The warning comes after eight incidents in September including one in which more than 1km of trackside cable was stolen affecting signalling equipment.

British Transport Police (BTP) said it will increase patrols across the town and reviewing recent incidents.

Two men, both aged 43, have been arrested and bailed in connection with a number of thefts in St Helens.

Det Chf Insp Malcolm McKinnon said: "Cable theft is a major issue for BTP and the wider railway community and as such we will be stepping up our patrols to deter prospective thieves."

Officers will also be visiting local scrap yards looking for cable, where they believe a thieves have tried to sell it on.

Mr McKinnon added: "Theft of cable does not put rail users in any danger because whenever cable is cut all the line side signals default to red which prevents trains from travelling in the affected area.

"However, the thieves themselves are putting their lives on the line."

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